Should Diapered Toddlers Be Allowed in the HOA or Condo Swimming Pool?

Talk about a hot issue! I did a blog on this on my other blog site and then went to researching the issue on the web looking for the “elusive case” – (see why below). I found hundreds of posts (no cases though) on this topic, many of which related to the cruise ship industry as it seems most have rules prohibiting those not toilet trained in the swimming pools. Anyway, here is the post:

Here is a question sent to me by – I think – an unhappy parent about use of the pool. Take note, summer is coming (or is it already here?).

“The HOA is denying access to the pool for any ‘persons’ who are not toilet trained. they took down the “no children in pool” sign, so i know its targeted towards kids. BUT i read that it was in violation of the Fair Housing Act (1988), since the goal of sanitation could be achieved in less restrictive means such as swim pants. Even though the CDC has deemed swim diapers to be ineffective, they do support the use of reusable swim pants.

Do I have a case? or are they within the right to deny access?”

There are many kids that are toilet trained so saying that this rule targets kids seems to be overreaching. It addresses a health concern. Diapers can leak. I don’t know of any state of federal case or Federal Fair Housing case that addresses this specific issue. There certainly are cases on discrimination against families with children but this particular topic? I could not find one.

There are practitioners including me that agree that rules should not target children –  but having a rule the prohibits anyone who is not toilet trained or is incontinent from using the pool is fair to those that want to remain healthy and do not want to be exposed to nasty stuff in the water.  Just get on the internet and find out what doctors, the CDC and others say about this subject – and all the bad things that can happen.  And check out the cruise line blogs declaring the issue of trying to enforce the prohibitions when travelers who feel that since they paid for a ticket, they should be able to dunk their diapered babies in the pool.

I got a critical email from the someone who wrote the question stating that I didn’t know much about discrimination against kids, and that they “read about a case” … .” I asked them to send it to me and I would review it and post a blog on it. What do you think they did next? Nothing! Anyone out there have a case to send on the subject? I am nothing if not open minded. I will take a look!

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4 Responses to Should Diapered Toddlers Be Allowed in the HOA or Condo Swimming Pool?
  1. This really is a hot issue.

    The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal very recently released a case on this point. The tribunal found, after receiving cogent evidence of the potential health hazards, that there was no bona fide reason for the prohibition.

    Read the decision here:

    Our office acted on the case and will be releasing some commentary soon. Prior to this case being released, however, we’d given some additional commentary which was published here:

    Thanks for raising the topic.

    • Beth Grimm
      June 3, 2011 | 6:01 am

      Thanks Chris from Canada. I will share this with my readers. I appreciate the input!

  2. KELLI
    May 27, 2011 | 12:41 pm

    Our condo has two pools, one for children and one for the rest…

    Are you saying that we cannot require diapered children to only use that designated childrens pool?

    Thanks to this story we now know to use the word (re-usable) Swim Pants? as opposed to the “Special Diapers” words?

    • Beth Grimm
      June 3, 2011 | 5:53 am

      Sorry Kelli, I do not provide legal advice on this blog, but try to locate resources and answers. I still have not heard from anyone about the “case” a reader alluded to. If I can gather additional information on this question I will pass it along.